Where to being to take wellness advantage?
There is a myriad of evidence that shows us that better citizen wellbeing means a stronger economy and we’re seeing that in how legislation and policy is starting to shape up here in the UK; the introduction of sugar tax, ban on fast food advertising by Transport for London, severe car emission penalties to target pollution and the introduction of mandatory mental health first aiders in every workplace by 2020 – based on evidence, wellbeing legislation is likely to increase, not least because it is now proven to be a critical vote winner for an incumbent government going to election. Also because of economic impact – a healthier, more ‘well’ population is also a more productive one and an economy that invests in and considers the happiness of its people means a more sustainable economy model. Alongside policy and legislation how must we consider how to make wellbeing work for business?
In these fast-paced times – three schools of thought to approach success in the wellness sector?
1. The first is relative to the lens we look through when it comes to wellbeing. Don’t ever assume people know what you’re talking about – step out of the wellness bubble, and meet people where they are. Knowledge about wellbeing isn’t indicative of someone’s age, title or life experience. Today there is every chance that the Gen Z receptionist knows more about personal wellbeing and what’s missing in the workplace than their CEO. The simple version of improved wellbeing is ‘to feel better’ coined in that way means broader appeal and more relatability.
2. Clarity goes a long way – can you explain the difference between wellness and wellbeing? It’s likely that you use the terms interchangeably, don’t get hung up on it but if you want to discern a difference, it is this – “Wellness is your lifestyle habits – how you sleep, eat, move and practice emotional, spiritual and mental alignment – all those things combined effect your overall wellbeing. Lifestyle choice is your wellness route, better wellbeing, your destination”.
3. Wellness practice and investment is no longer siloed – whole experience matters. In hotel terms that means bedrooms designed to optimise quality of sleep, local and organic food selection, empathic service and care, internal air quality, non toxic furnishings. The point is this – wellness is no longer identified as being exclusive to a spa, clinic or gym space – it should be cultural and that matters to every business. Where there are people, there is an opportunity to effect wellbeing.
Five ‘need to know’ advantage insights
Sleep is claiming the priority crown from Fitness – the evidence is overwhelming, read Matthew Walker – Why we sleep? You’ll never go to bed late again! The key message – nothing else matters if you’re not getting enough sleep – commoditising this segment is well underway but the reality is that yielding potential here doesn’t need to cost a penny.
Conscious culture revolution – particularly in the luxury market. Kindness, humanity, appreciation of EVERY influence of wellbeing. Recognise that more high spend consumers want to resonate in a deeper, more visceral way with where they spend their money. They want to support businesses, countries and movements they perceive are ‘doing good’ and aligned with their own values.
A whole and better me – compartmentalised and siloed approach has given way to integration and cohesion – separation is yesterdays’ news. With the enormous focus on mental health in the UK right now, emphasis on whole person wellbeing is gaining ground. Wellness customer focus used to be ‘make me thinner, make me prettier’ – now it is about growth, personal development and realising life’s potential “teach me, show me, inspire me, align with me”.
Listen for the human story – a new narrative is creeping in. You’re not going to hear it from President Trump or Nigel Farage but there will be more Jacinda Arderns (New Zealand Prime Minister) and Julian Richers ( Founder of Richer Sounds) abound – ‘we’ will get better at being accessible and more inclusive, a ‘room for everyone’ approach – keep an eye on ethical capitalism examples similar to the Richer story.
Cleaning living is the new cocaine – this includes sleep, hydration, nutrition, exercise, intimacy, who we hang out with, how much alcohol we drink – note that it’s a cheaper, inclusive and accessible way to optimise joy, happiness and health – it may sound easy but it’s a hugely transformational element: life change for happier, healthier, more fulfilled living.
“The point is this – wellness is no longer identified as being exclusive to a spa, clinic or gym space...”